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The Boston Globe

Music

MUSIC REVIEW

Itzhak Perlman leads an all-Beethoven BSO season opener

It came up once more on Saturday in Symphony Hall, that age-old question: Should a big orchestra’s opening-night program be a frothy glass of musical champagne or a substantial sit-down meal that hints at the artistic aspirations of the season to come?

At his most wizardly, former music director James Levine could make an opening night feel like both. But since his departure, the Boston Symphony Orchestra has been reaching for the bubbly in late-September: short ultra-conservative programs uncorked by celebrity violinists. Last year it was Anne-Sophie Mutter in all-Mozart repertoire, this year Itzhak Perlman in all-Beethoven.

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